New Zealand’s climate varies greatly, ranging from warm subtropical in the far north to cool temperate climates in the far south. It’s important to choose the correct cover to ensure your horse is protected from the elements, insects and sun damage. With so many covers on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.
We are here to help! Whether your horse is in the depth of winter or near the equator, follow these suggestions…
The first step in determining the size of your cover is to measure your horse’s height (hh = hands high). To measure your horse, grab a measuring tape or stick. Stand your horse on a level surface and hold the tape/stick vertical to the ground, placing the top of the tape/stick at the horse’s withers. Record this measurement to determine hh. For example, if my horse measures 66 inches, divide 66 by 4. The total is 16.5. In this example, 16 is the number of hands and the .5 is considered half a hand, or 2 inches. My horse is 16.2 hh.
See our below sizing chart to estimate what size horse rug you will need:
Now that you know the size of your horse, it is important to remember that although your cover has tabs to tighten or loosen, fitting for comfort is paramount. My horse is 16.2 hh, but my horse may be a little slimmer or a bit larger in the midsection, or my horse may be longer or shorter than other 16.2 hh horses!
How do you choose? Here are a few helpful tips…
The warmth of a cover is determined by the “fill”, the fill is measured in grams per square meter. The higher the fill, the warmer the rug. Our rugs come in no fill, 100g, and 200g. Choosing the correct weight is critical to keep your horse warm and comfortable through the cooler months.
Here are a few ideas to prepare and rug your horse in winter …
See our below fill guide:
f you would like to remove the guesswork, we suggest using Orscana. A health and activity monitor that fits into the inside of your rug. Download Orscana’s app to your smartphone and let it determine the best rug for your horse – it even checks the weather forecast and predicts what cover to use!
Most horse owners prefer a nylon rug lining because it is more durable, slides over the horse freely without pulling the coat, and is suitable for most weather conditions. You can purchase polycotton outer covers that have a synthetic-satiny nylon lining at the shoulders, main, and tail flap, like the Summer Cooler Combo. Or, if you prefer, a cotton lining is less expensive. However, cotton is warmer and may induce sweating, which takes longer to dry. Our Fleece Show Rug Cover may be used as an under-rug lining for warmth, durability, and comfort.
A wet coat due to a leaky rug creates an uncomfortable environment for your horse and inhibits its ability to warm itself! It is imperative that you choose a cover that is completely waterproof if rain is forecasted, to avoid compromising your horse’s health and well-being! Here are a few suggestions…
Good question! Denier refers to the strength of the cover’s outer shell, the higher the Denier, the thicker the weave and the stronger the material. The most common rugs will be 600D, 1200D and 1680D – 1200D is a good middle ground and offers superior strength and durability and will far outlast a 600D rug as well as still being lightweight and breathable when compared to a 1680D.
Our Duke 1200D No Fill Rug is 1200 denier, heavy duty waterproof – with a Ripstop Outer can take on tough environments. Choose a denier weight that is suitable for the comfort of your horse.
Ah, summer! Choosing a rug for summer is simple! Get rid of annoying biting flies, bots, midges, ticks and sunburn! Here are some pointers to help you choose wisely…
If you have any further questions, we would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best and happy riding from the team at nztack!